August is an important month for Santa Rosa Veterinary centers and veterinary clinics around the nation. All month long we highlight specific calendar days, focusing on your pets and ensuring you’re doing all you can to promote their overall wellbeing – from immunizations and microchips to getting your pets in for their annual vet visits.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
The entire month of August is National Immunization Month, emphasizing the importance of keeping pet immunizations current if you immunize your dog or cat. Immunizations are a hot topic right now – with some people standing firmly on the line of “immunizations are a must,” while others believing that immunizations compromise an animal’s natural immune defenses.
As a Santa Rosa veterinary practice dedicated to both Eastern and Western medicine, we’re happy to educate you about both sides of the topic so you can make the best decision for your pets. Also, it’s important to note that most professional, credible pet boarding facilities require vaccinations for any pet desiring accomodations.
Similarly, most local SPCA’s require that pet caretakers present proof of current licensing and vaccinations before they’ll release your pet back to you if your pet happens to take a walk and get turned in (or picked up) by a concerned citizen or SPCA employee.
Is Your Pet Microchipped?
August 15th is National Check the Chip Day, although we’re happy to check microchips any day of the year.
Does your cat or dog have a microchip? If so, consider it as an option. Pets who get lost or picked up while wandering away from home have no way to tell their temporary caretaker who they are or where they’re from. All too often, a cat or dog who’s gone through or under a fence winds up with a collar-free neck, separating them from their I.D. tags. Or an I.D. tag can snap off without your notice, leaving them unidentified during their “adventures.”
In these cases, microchips are invaluable. A simple scan from the shelter or a local veterinarian provides the pet owner’s name, address and phone number. Also, microchips are scanned by most vets every time a pet comes through their doors, so this can also help your pet reconnect with your family if s/he was thought abandoned or is your pet was stolen. The American Humane Society estimates that about 10 million pets are stolen each year.
A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, including 53 animal shelters across the U.S., confirmed the high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families…Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase). Less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better).
Make Sure Your Microchip is Active and Accurate
If your pet is microchipped, make sure to keep the information current. The next time you bring your pet to a Santa Rosa veterinary center, have the vet tech run the microchip scanner to make sure your information shows up. You can also request your pet receive his/her first microchip if you don’t currently have one.
If household contact information has changed recently, make it a point to contact the company hosting your pet’s microchip information and let them know. Representative are always friendly and appreciate the updates, so they can provide the most accurate information possible when a lost pet is found.
Bring Your Dog & Cat to The Vet Days
Finally, August 22nd and August 25th are National Bring Your Cat and Dog (respectively) to the Vet days. Ultimately, these days are gentle reminders. Busy human schedules make it easy to forget scheduling routine health checkups for the animal loves of our lives.
If you haven’t set a vet date yet this year, treat yourself and your pet to an appointment. Annual wellness visits help your pet acclimate to the vet office outside of the realm of sickness or trauma, which helps us to promote our FEAR FREE veterinary approach. It also allows us to catch any potential issues you may not have noticed yourself – like inflamed joints, a tender spot in the belly or a pet’s steady weight gain (or loss!) so we can put non-invasive treatments to work before the issues become more intense to manage.
Is your pet due for a wellness checkup, vaccines, or a review of his/her current health and treatment plan? Schedule an appointment here with us here at Wise & Wonderful Integrative Veterinary Center.